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Born May 17, 1946 and raised in New Jersey, Francis Paul Wilson knew almost from the start that he wanted to be a doctor. While preparing himself for that laudable goal, he managed to find the time to be influenced by such disparate sources as comics, the writings of authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and Robert Heinlein, and the music of Chuck Berry and Alan Freed. He didn't realize it immediately, but he was one of those individuals blessed (or cursed) with a second true calling. Though he didn't start out wanting to be a writer, he knew he liked to write, and he would eventually discover that he could make a living for himself doing something fun, in addition to his medical career.

When he was in the second grade, Wilson told his teacher he'd written a ghost story, and was asked to read it aloud as his contribution to the class's reading circle. He'd only written half of it, and the teacher caught him ad-libbing the rest, suggesting he finish it up and read the rest to them on another date. Then a miraculous thing happened. While putting up the chairs from the reading circle, he received some of the highest praise a writer can receive: a couple of the other kids came up to ask him what happened next. He knew he had them hooked, and a full-blown storyteller was born in him that day.

Eventually, writing became a kind of compulsive disorder with him. Even when he practiced medicine full-time, he wrote every day, setting himself minimum goals of 3 pages per day, though he'd push it as far as 100 pages a month whenever he could. In 1994, he cut down his medical practice to two days a week (being a doctor, after all, is still his first calling), and continues to write just as compulsively. And it has paid off for him. He's produced over twenty-five novels, countless short stories and non- or semi-fiction essays, and even a couple of plays. There are over six million copies of his books in print in the United States, and his various works have been translated into twenty-four languages. He has evolved with the times as well, diving into interactive fiction for the Sci-Fi Channel and interactive CD-ROMs, and even bringing forth a website centered around his most beloved of characters, Repairman Jack (www.repairmanjack.com). He is a regular poster on the Repairman Jack Message Board, interacting freely with his broad fan base.

Dr. Wilson's works throughout 1980s and early 1990s stuck him with the label of "horror writer," but he prefers to think of himself as a writer of thrillers. His earlier work from the 1970s consists primarily of science fiction thrillers, while much of his work from the later 1990s exemplify the medical thriller genre. His Repairman Jack series, which started with the supernatural thriller The Tomb, combines all of these genres and more, often within the same novel.

Noders in the United Kingdom seeking his works might do well to check the top of the beginning of the top shelf in the bookstore, rather than the lower right where the "W" authors usually hide. When he sold the non-horror novel The Select, he decided to do so under a pseudonym to keep publishers from looking at it in the same light as his other works, much the same way Stephen King wrote as Richard Bachman. He chose "Colin Andrews" out of the simple desire to be closer to the beginning of the alphabet.

Bibliography

The Adversary Cycle
Repairman Jack
LaNague series
Other Novels
Short Stories
Comic Scripts
Novelettes and Novelas
Short Story Collections
Dramatic Works
Interactive Fiction
  • Bombmeister (1995), with Matt Costello - film, never released
  • Derelict (1997), with Matt Costello - interactive script and design for the web, can be found on the Sci-Fi Channel web site <http://www.scifi.com/pulp/set/derelict/>
  • Disney's Mathquest with Aladdin (1997), with Matt Costello - Interactive script and design for CD-ROM
  • The Dark Half (currently vaporware), with Matt Costello - interactive script and design for CD-ROM based on the Stephen King novel
Other Fiction
Non-Fiction

Sources
Wilson, F. Paul. The Official Repairman Jack Web Site. <http://www.repairmanjack.com> (February 28, 2003)

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